The G20 Ministerial Meeting held on 9 and 10 July in Shanghai under the
China Presidency has agreed a set of non-binding Guiding
Principles for Global Investment Policymaking
version). The Guiding Principles are the outcome
of six months of intensive discussions held in the G20’s newly established
Trade and Investment Group, which aims to enhance global trade and investment
policy cooperation, and constitute a priority deliverable for the 2016
G20 Summit. Work on the Principles was facilitated by UNCTAD’s Division
on Investment and Enterprise (visit
The G20 Guiding Principles aim to provide general guidance for investment
policymaking in order to (i) foster an open, transparent and conducive
global policy environment for investment, (ii) promote coherence in national
and international investment policymaking in the absence of a global governance
regime, and (iii) promote investment for inclusive economic growth and
The G20 Guiding Principles for Investment Policymaking cover nine areas:
(I) Anti-protectionism, (II) Non-discrimination, (III) Investment protection,
(IV) Transparency, (V) Sustainable development, (VI) the Right to regulate,
(VII) Investment promotion and facilitation, (VIII) Responsible business
conduct, and (IX) International cooperation.
The adoption of the Guiding Principles is a landmark event. It is the first
time in more than five decades of international investment policymaking
that consensus has been reached between such a varied group of developed,
developing and transition economies – representing over two thirds of
global foreign direct investment – despite numerous attempts over the
years. They constitute a first tentative step in the direction of broad
multilateral consensus and as such could have far-reaching systemic implications.
The role of UNCTAD
UNCTAD played a key role as facilitator for the discussions on the Guiding
Principles and provided an initial draft based on UNCTAD Investment Policy
Framework for Sustainable Development. It also played a role as coordinator
of the interagency working group to provide substantive support to the
G20 on other investment related issues.
UNCTAD will continue to support the international investment community
in its efforts to work towards promoting investment for sustainable development.
The next milestone event in the process will be the upcoming World Investment
Forum 2016, taking place from 17-22 July in Nairobi, Kenya.
With best regards,
James X. Zhan
Director, Investment and Enterprise
Palais des Nations, Geneva